Whether you commute to work every day on your bike or hop on it after you get home in the evening for a little bit of exercise, you are probably very aware of how biking can be good for your health. Unfortunately, cycling can also endanger your health if you wind up in a crash caused by someone in a vehicle.
Even if you wear a helmet, the risk exists for you to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as the result of a bicycle accident. The symptoms of a brain injury aren’t always obvious at the time of the incident, which is one reason why it is a good idea to seek a medical evaluation after any kind of crash.
However, if your schedule won’t allow for immediate medical evaluation and you don’t notice any symptoms at the scene of the accident, the best option for you might be to monitor yourself carefully for signs of a brain injury in the upcoming weeks. Otherwise, by the time you get diagnosed, you may struggle to connect your injury with the cycling accident the driver caused.
Delayed symptoms are common with TBIs
Trauma to the brain can be instant, as in the case of penetrating injuries. However, when it comes to blunt force trauma or closed head injuries, the condition may get worse over time, resulting in increasingly concerning symptoms. Knowing what symptoms to watch for can help you know when you should see a doctor.
Someone who felt fine immediately after the crash may notice headaches or nausea over the next few days. Sensory symptoms, such as blurry vision, ringing ears or olfactory hallucinations are also possible. Other common symptoms of brain injuries may include issues with motor function and balance, problems with memory, inexplicable changes in mood or personality and even coma in extreme cases.
Brain injuries can mean a lifetime of medical expenses
Depending on the symptoms a brain injury produces and its severity, as well as the overall health and career path of the victim, a brain injury could mean the end of someone’s professional career or even their independence. Brain injuries can leave people unable to care for themselves or to remember to fulfill important responsibilities like paying their mortgage.
In addition to the medical expenses for the treatments of the injury itself and the occupational and/or physical therapy to overcome the impact of the TBI, there will also be lost wages, loss of benefits and the cost of in-home care or support to consider. A cyclist hurt by a negligent driver shouldn’t have to assume those financial burdens on their own.